Page 30 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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That is with regard to cargo ships and passenger ships, not to emigrant ships. 22975. With regard to passenger ships? - Not with regard to emigrant ships. 22976. There is nothing more than that? - I beg your pardon, there is the Emigration Officer’s absolute power. 22977. But there is no scale? - There is a scale. Here you have it on page 10, a scale of manning. 22978. That scale, as a matter of fact, applies to the deck, surely? - No. If you look further on you will find the engine room and stokehold on page 11. 22979. That is only up to 600 nominal horsepower? - That is a guiding line, but the Emigration Officer, in his discretion, can extend that scale to any length. 22980. What I mean is this. I want you to recognise a distinction between a discretion entrusted to an officer and the provision of a scale by which the officer should be guided? - The discretional power of the Emigration Officer is a statutory one. The instructions are not statutory; they are simply for his guidance. 22981. He is given statutory power to exercise his natural discretion? - Quite so. 22982. But one man may exercise it one way and another man may vary that practice? - No. 22983. Is there a standard? - There is no standard in this way, in print, but there is a standard of uniformity arrived at by the fact that I am going about from port to port and establishing that standard. 22984. The standard is what you told the different officers? - In consultation with them, yes. 22985. But it is not reduced to writing? - Not reduced to writing, no. You do not require it. 22986. In plain language there is no such thing in existence as a scale of manning for passenger and emigrant ships? - But there is. It is down here on pages 10 and 11. 22987. “The scale is intended rather as a guide for dealing with doubtful cases than as a hard- and-fast Rule, and no questions need be raised with regard to vessels in which the same total manning has been accepted previously”? - Quite so. 22988. There is nothing in figures to guide a man for a big ship like the “Titanic”? - Oh, yes, there is. He can exercise his discretion by extending the table. 22989. He has to exercise his discretion? - Yes, by extending the table from his knowledge. He is not a landsman; he is a seaman, and he has the knowledge. 22990. If there was a scale, his discretion would be out of the question? - Not at all. He would still exercise it. He would exercise it if there was a scale. 22991. Suppose there was a minimum scale, would not it follow that he would have to see that at least that minimum scale was complied with? - So he does, according to this. 22992. Can you tell me from pages 10 and 11, or anywhere else in your instructions, what is the minimum scale for the manning of a ship of the size of the “Titanic”? - Yes. 22993. Kindly give me the figure then - how many officers? - You will find 48 for the number of deckhands to be carried. 22994. That is from the boats? - That is from the boats. 22995. Now take the officers? - The figures for officers we have never had occasion to lay down, for this reason, that the voluntary action of shipowners has always prevented the Emigration Officer from stepping in to say: “You must draw the line at this.” 22996. That is no answer to my question at all? - Yes, it is. 22997. If you pay attention you will see that it is not. Is there anything in what you call the scale which prescribes the number of officers to be carried on a ship like the “Titanic”? - No; but there is in the Statute. 22998. You say no, and I take that answer? - The Statute says that the Emigration Officer must be satisfied that the ship is efficiently manned. He can call for 12 officers if he likes. 22999. I will take that as an admission - that there is no scale in reference to that, at all events.
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